The Poneke rugby team has been around since 1883. In its more than a century of history, the club has given the rugby community more than 19 professional players for the New Zealand All Blacks team, four of whom became its captains. Let’s find out about three of Poneke Football Club’s most outstanding alumni.
First-class Striker, Lawyer, and Coaching Manual Author
One of the most famous athletes from the Poneke rugby club is the well-loved Thomas Ellison. Thomas was a native Maori and was born into the Ngai Tahu tribe in 1867. Possessing great strength and endurance by nature, Thomas showed an interest in sports from childhood. Ellison was introduced to the game of rugby at the age of 14 along with his cousins. Remembering later about his first game, Thomas said that he did not fully understand the rules of the game at that time, but he had a desire to understand all aspects of this game and succeed in it. And so it happened, looking ahead, we can say that Thomas really comprehended many rugby subtleties and even published a coaching manual called “The Art of Rugby Football”, which was released in 1902 and was highly appreciated by contemporaries.
Thomas joined the team from Wellington in 1885 as a junior. But a year later he was accepted into the main team, as he won all the matches for the year.
In addition to his physical strength, Thomas became famous for his intelligence and talent as a lawyer. He was the official Lawyer of the New Zealand Rugby Association. Legend has it that it was Thomas who came up with the design proposal for an all-black jersey for the All Blacks.
Great Crighton or the Most Productive Rugby Player on the Team
Another prominent face of the Poneke team was Billy Wallace. This athlete was born in 1879 in Wellington. William was not a professional athlete, instead, he was educated as a foundryman. However, this did not stop him from setting performance records and becoming the administrator of the New Zealand team.
Wallace began his career on August 15, 1903, taking part in a match against Australia. Billy played mainly as a defender and had a strong shot that allowed him to instantly deliver the ball to the other half of the field.
He gained his gaming experience in games for the Poneke club, where he showed himself to be an extremely productive and strong player. Even after the end of his sports career, Wallace continued to help the club and keep in touch with the sports community.
In 1905, Wallace scored 28 points in one match. For a long time, this result was an absolute rugby record. In 1968 it was decided to give the Billy Wallace trophy to the top scorer from the Wellington Association.
Modern Rugby World Champion and Native of Poneke
During its long history, Poneke has not lost his skills and still educates first-class athletes. A prime example is the world rugby star, Dan Coles. This athlete received his main development while playing for the junior team of Wellington. Thanks to strong professional training, already in 2005, the athlete played for the New Zealand youth squad.
At the moment, Dan is the owner of the world title, which he won in 2015 at competitions in England. At a similar competition in Japan in 2019, Coles took third place.
Watch the Success of the Rugby Players from the Poneke Football Club
As you can tell, many years of experience and the natural strength of the players have helped to bring up more than one generation of first-class athletes. The current success of the team is a worthy continuation of the past results of previous champions. Follow the progress of the squad from Wellington and witness the rise of a new star in the sports sky.